Dominant/submissive BDSM relationships are usually based on the archetypal roles we learn early in our lives—that's what makes them feel so powerful for us. And one of the more basic archetypal relationships is father/child. Calling your lover "Daddy" to indicate a certain type of power structure is nothing new—Marilyn Monroe did it in the classic '50s movie Some Like It Hot. It raised no eyebrows even then, and daddy role-play is common in the kink scene today.

But what about the runner-up role, that patriarchal sidekick: uncle? Where does it lie in the spectrum of the sexualized chosen-family structure? I asked people who used the role of uncle in their BDSM life to talk to me about how it felt for them and why they chose it. Here's what I learned.

Uncle can imply closeness, but still be a step removed from the extreme intimacy implied in daddy role-play.

Adam: It seems to me that uncle can have a different, more distant psychological space that still offers the "older male conducting sexual mentorship"... Uncle doesn't have to just mean Daddy's or Mommy's brother. He can be "the older guy next door," or "Mommy's illicit lover," or "Daddy's best friend," or any other older male figure that has an attachment. This lends a lot of breathing room for the sexual charge in the fantasy.

An uncle relationship can exist alongside a daddy (or daddyish) relationship.

Becka: I'm married to Daddy, so if I were ever involved with another dominant, he'd definitely be an uncle. I like the older-male-relative authority-figure model, so it'd be appropriate for me.

Calvin: Uncle is used when someone already has a daddy and yet wants to play with someone else as well—it can be confusing to have multiple daddies. It's also sometimes used when age players are playing, but not (yet) in a particularly committed way.

Dae: Uncle lends a note of acceptance and familiarity... (My play-niece) started calling me Uncle without any prompting from me... She could have chosen to call me Daddy, but I think she didn't as her natural father is still alive, and because she has a regular dominant in her boyfriend.

Uncle energy isn't necessarily gender specific.

Elina: The way I envision myself in that role would be that I'd be the uncle who's your mom's friend, and who's also very likely to do naughty things to you while Mom isn't looking. Uncle E would be a sneaky fucker, but sort of slyly determined. Not much of that protection stuff going on, except maybe in the perception from the outside—but only barely. To me, it seems more fiendish and "wrong" than the daddy/girl thing, which makes it more appetizing to me.

Not everyone likes the uncle idea.

Felix: I have done it, but only as a compromise for girls who want daddy role-play, which I am absolutely not willing to do.

Gabrielle: Uncle doesn't get me into the mood—it's not dirty enough for me. Play my daddy or my priest. Uncle just gives me a headache.

Sometimes uncle is a halfway point to daddy-play, but easier to handle emotionally.

Hannah: I've played with a guy who goes by Uncle. It suits him, as he's warm and friendly, and caring—but not as close or protective as a daddy.

Ian: With one submissive I did uncle-play with, she had issues with calling or thinking of anyone as a daddy figure other than her biological father. Uncleness, I think, also implies a less strict authority figure than daddy can imply, yet still has that "older male wisdom," compassion, and love that is often associated with a daddy-type dominant.

And sometimes it's a way to get things our younger self wanted from a trusted older person, but didn't get.

Janelle: I don't have any real uncles, but I have a play-uncle. He buys me ice cream cones and spoils me. It's great.

Karl: I have a relationship with an older man I call Uncle. We don't really role-play that we're blood relatives. But we do scenes where I'm an adolescent and he's sort of teaching me about my sexuality, something that didn't happen to me as a teenager, but that I wish had.

Kink Calendar

FRIDAY 11/25


Clothing check provided (but you gotta keep that sweet spot covered). Seattle Eagle, 314 E Pike St, 621-7591, 9 pm–close, cover charge.



Eye candy galore at the 17th annual Seattle Leather Daddy & Daddy's Boy Contest. Contestants will answer "surprise questions" and present a "Northwest kink" production number (!). Cuff Complex, 1533 13th Ave, 323-1525, doors at 6 pm, contest at 7 pm, $5.


Got a family of four? Sign 'em up for the kinkiest family event of the season, featuring competitive hockey played with frozen Cornish game hens as pucks. No, really. Everett Events Center, 2000 Hewitt Ave, Everett, 425-322-2650, 10 am–2 pm, $50 per family of four. Skates and sticks provided, bring your own gloves and helmet.

SUNDAY 11/27


A blood moon is a lunar eclipse as the earth casts a shadow across the moon. Women and trans community are welcome to the magical space of blood and edge play. Wet Spot, or 270-9746, 6 pm–midnight, membership required, $15.


Rain City Jacks is a private, men-only JO club that's alcohol-, smoke-, and attitude-free. Membership required, or, 1–4 pm.



A 90-minute documentary about women's sexual experiences—real women talk about sex, orgasm, masturbation, the G-spot, and kinky sex. Wet Spot, or, 7 pm, discussion with director Chris Arnold afterward, membership not required, $15, 18+ with ID.